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The eagle and the dragon

By Masao Miwa | | Updated: 2017-06-02 17:42

The United States and China are at a turning point in their economic/political relationships. In the past, the United States didn't worry much about trade competition because of it's technological and quality advantages of it's goods and products. America was the hare and China was the tortoise in the economic race to the top. The United States seemed invincible in it's leadership of the modern industrialized world, though Japan gave it a scare. China and other under-developed/developing countries were perceived to have an impossible path to catch up, if ever, let alone lead in any economic category.

But something amazing happened to China in the late '70's when Deng Xiaoping pointed China in a new strategic direction, a direction aimed at utilizing many of China's underlying strengths to become a real competitor in today's world--- the tortoise changed to a hare (or should that be dragon) of another color. Deng Xiaoping vision was to make China a global leader again. He knew the Chinese peoples characteristics for hard work, adaptability, and education were his secret ingredients for China's success. In less than one generation, China has accomplished miraculous feats of economic and social engineering and growth beyond anyone's wildest imagination. China did not follow the Russian model or the American model. China followed the 'China' model. Some call it impossible---but it happened! The United States needs to decide whether it will be a partner or advisory in this new peer relationship.

China is reborn, a new chapter in it's long history. A united China inspired by it's nationalism and it's entrepreneurial people led by it's government. China carefully aimed high and planned long, focusing aggressively for the future. Today, in less than a generation, China has become number 2 in economic strength, only behind the United States, and continues forging ahead. Some say China will be number 1 within the next 20 years or sooner, time will tell, but the odds look very good. China is the world's leader in moving it's people from poverty to prosperity these last few decade, just look at the demographics. “ According to the World Bank, more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty (over the past 3 decades)”(Wikipedia) China was considered an under-developed nation less than 40 years ago and in one generation is clearly on the road to becoming a leader among developing and developed nations. The process is on-going, from shoddy products to world-class complex quality systems.

Projects like the Three-Gorges Dam for power generation; wide-bandwidth communications using fiber and satellites, manned space exploration to further man's knowledge of the universe, high speed rail networks for better business and leisure travel; modern infrastructure and transportation development of roads, airports, metros, harbors, and railways; increased emphasis on higher education, both domestic and international; and urban transition/development of mega cities from planning to construction to accommodate the great migration from rural to urban living. These all exemplify her forward thinking. China didn't do it alone, she partnered with international companies with advanced knowledge and skills. She was a fast learner. Today, she seek more innovations by her youngest and brightest. “Made in China” will be known for quality and world-class products.

China now faces new complex challenges in her future: from climbing higher up the technology skills ladder, pollution control, providing for an aging population, adjusting for slower percentage growth, global warming mitigation, and to broader world integration and responsibilities.

China's vision now looks outward and sees opportunity above and beyond today's low-cost labor exports. Her participation in the United Nations as a permanent member of the Security Council, active participant in UN security forces, world disaster relief funding/participant, and world trade and cooperation agreements demonstrate her continuing active membership as a responsible international partner. People in the world have noticed. China looks to be a good neighbor and competitor in the world community.

China is focusing attention to broader participation in world-class research and development applications initiatives in science and technology as indicated by her exponential growth in patents and diversity in theoretical and practical science applications. China's space exploration, sea exploration, particle physics initiatives, green energy developments and biotechnology/medical research seek future knowledge and possible applications and markets. China is becoming a major participant at the cutting edge of science and technology.

More specifically, China's research and development into quantum communications and computing; man in space applications; global communications and navigation; remote earth resources and weather sensing; synthetic biology and genetics in biotechnology; information technology to optimize business/manufacturing/logistics/sales; super computer development; robotics and artificial intelligence; nanotechnology in products and medicine; electric/autonomous designs for green/rapid transportation systems; development of sustainable resources for the future; new fission and fusion reactor designs for high energy density and low pollution sources; the list goes on and on.....

China is today’s world's manufacturing center and it's creation of the Asian Development Bank; the Belt-Road initiative will help itself and it's Asian neighbor economies to grow, develop, and speed products to markets. Countries, organizations and entities in Asia connected with the Belt-Road initiative will see accelerated supply chain efficiencies. Her advanced technological product mix will also advance manufacturing and safety techniques and faster-more efficient modes of logistics. Asia will be the beneficiary of this synergy.

China's African economic cooperation in areas of rail, infrastructure, urban/city planning, medicine, health, sanitation, potable water, energy, agriculture, and education address under-developed countries urgent needs and explores trade and economic venues for bilateral growth and development.

These, and many more initiatives, typify China's current and future goals and are examples that go a long way to improve the world's march out of poverty and help improve the stature and economic well being of China, developing countries, and the world community as a whole.

What's that saying? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.“ Exactly what China is doing by action and deeds! Yes, China benefits, but so do those who want a better life and to find their place in this modern competitive world. China is a very practical model and map for others to follow because she has done it.

A better world is what we all want, a world free of poverty, disease, famine, and war. The United States today is still the world leader and has in the past been the strength in helping others, but today's complex world needs are beyond what the United States can solely provide. China will and can be a world partner and leader because she has the wisdom and knowledge to work with others to make our world a better place to live and grow, she is showing others HOW TO FISH by example and action, how to climb out of poverty and find a place in today's modern competitive world.

Working together, the Eagle and the Dragon can make this a better world, a win-win for all.

Masao Miwa is a retired American aerospace engineer, he has been living in Shenzhen over 12 years and still being amazed.

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